Skip to comments.Iraq's Arsenal Of Terror
Posted on 04/10/2002 11:55:24 AM PDT by Stand Watch Listen
After surviving torture, another high-level defector has escaped Iraq. In this exclusive report, he details Saddam's progress toward truly frightening capabilities: "dirty" bombs that spew radioactivity, mobile bio-weapons facilities, and a new long-range ballistic missile
After surviving torture, another high-level defector has escaped Iraq. In this exclusive report, he details Saddam's progress toward truly frightening capabilities: "dirty" bombs that spew radioactivity, mobile bio-weapons facilities, and a new long-range ballistic missile
By David Rose
January 2000: a chilly afternoon in Baghdad. At the downtown headquarters of Iraqs Military Industrial Commission, the body responsible for arms development and purchase, its then chairman, General Amer al-Saadi, gathered 13 government officials around the boardroom table: scientists, soldiers, spies. More than a year had passed since the Iraqi president, Saddam Hussein, expelled the inspectors from the United Nations Special Commission (UNSCOM), the U.N. program designed to prevent Iraq from acquiring weapons of mass destruction. "Now were a free country again," al-Saadi said. "We can do whatever we wish. We want you to work with full force, and youll be in a race against time. You have to win this race. Everything you need, material or logistic, is available to you."
Al-Saadi, a plump, white-haired man in his early 60s, spoke for three hours. The course of the race, he said, was still unknown. Its finish line, however, was clearly fixed. What al-Saadi called "the Motherland" would win if those in the room reached their goala new generation of long-range ballistic-missile system, equipped to deliver chemical, biological, and eventually nuclear warheads.
Twenty-six months after al-Saadis address, in March 2002, a man who says he was presenta man who has since escaped Iraqis in a hotel in a Middle Eastern capital describing it for Vanity Fair.
This defector has disclosed new details of Iraqs programs for building missiles and weapons of mass destruction. Iraq is close, he says, to achieving a long-range missile capable of hitting the capitals of Turkey, Egypt, Cyprus, Iran, and Saudi Arabia. He has supplied new information about how the country has built a network of front companies, controlled by its intelligence service, to evade Western sanctions, and identified seven sites where chemical and biological weapons are designed, manufactured, and tested, and an eighth where nuclear weapons are again being developed. With evident pride, he describes the success of his scheme to build a fleet of virtually undetectable mobile biological-weapons trucks, indistinguishable in appearance from the vehicles used to carry chilled or frozen food.
On a map he traces the course of four specially reinforced roadways, in all about 500 miles in length, on which Iraq can turn its existing missiles into moving targets, firing them from mobile launchers in the event of war. The defector also describes Iraqs support for Hamas, the Palestinian terrorist group responsible for suicide bombings in Israel, and his journey to Africa to buy highly toxic radioactive material with which to build a "dirty," radiological bomb.
In the weeks before our interviews, this man, who left Iraq a year and a half ago, was debriefed in at least four lengthy sessions by U.S. officials from the Defense Intelligence Agency. He is hoping to find sanctuary for himself and his family. Meanwhile, Vanity Fair has copied and translated some of the documentation he supplied to his U.S. interrogators. It includes the paperwork produced to establish his cover as a journalist and a 22-page report on military radar systems from the organization to which he once belongedIraqs security and intelligence service, the Mukhabarat.
Although Vanity Fair cannot independently verify all the defectors claims, experts on Iraq say they are consistent with other established information and appear to be credible. Charles Duelfer, the former deputy chairman of the UNSCOM mission in Iraq, who continues to monitor the region at the Center for Strategic & International Studies in Washington, has reviewed all the defector's testimony at the request of Vanitv Fair. He says, "I havent found anything to make me disbelieve him. What he describes is consistent with what we know about how Iraq operates, both in terms of building weapons of mass destruction, and in terms of its efforts to procure the necessary equipment and materials. His evidence tells us that Iraq's weapons-of-mass-destruction program has only accelerated since UNSCOM was expelled from the country in 1998."
A tall, slim man in his late 30s, the defector says he was trusted with sensitive positions early in his Mukhabarat career. Although an interpreter is present to ensure accuracy throughout our interviews, he speaks passable English, and often answers my questions without waiting for their Arabic translation. After he graduated from Baghdads School of National Security in 1986, he says, his first job was with the division responsible for government ministers securityin the sense not of providing them with personal protection, but of keeping them under surveillance for the least sign of dissent. In 1992, he says, he was transferred to what Iraq called the Directorate for Secret Organizations and Relationsthe department which, among other functions, provided support and training for terrorists from abroad.
There were two foreign groups for which he was personally responsible, he says. The first was the Iranian opposition force, the Mujahideen e-Khalq, which during the l980s maintained at least 20,000 fighters inside Iraq, where it helped suppress the 1991 Shia uprising. The second was the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, which carried out a long string of murders and hijackings up until the early l990s. Its founder, George Habash, was a visitor to Baghdad, the defector tells me, and at least 50 of his colleagues lived there. However, by the early 90s, the Popular Front's place in the terrorist pantheon was being usurped by a still more deadly formationHamas, perfecters of suicide bombing.
Evidence of links between Iraq and Hamas has surfaced before. It is known that Saddam sends $10,000 to the family of each "martyr" who kills himself in a suicide attack. In an official communiqué, Hamas refers to "brotherly Iraq," and during the lull in Palestinian-Israeli violence that followed the 1993 Oslo peace accords, Hamas threatened to kill civilians in Israel if the U.S. made any move against Iraq. The defectors testimony reveals the true depth of the Iraq-Hamas connection. It places Iraq squarely on the front line of President Bushs war on international terrorism: even without the added factor of weapons of mass destruction, this might be held to justify a U.S. attack.
Hamas had a subdepartment all its own in the foreigners directorate, he says, and throughout the time he worked there, the Mukhabarat provided Hamas with a full-time office in the Karrada Dakhil district of Baghdad. A stream of Hamas fighters learned skills in Iraq, with successive classes of between 5 and 30 students trained at the Salman Pak terrorist camp, south of Baghdad, and at a similar facility in the Diyala district of northeastern Iraq. In those locations, in addition to the normal curriculum of sabotage, assassination, and train and airplane hijackings (see "Inside Saddams Terror Regime" in the February 2002 issue of Vanity Fair), a fellow Mukhabarat officer gave Hamas members instruction in a further specialty: suicide bombing. "Many weapons were being supplied to Hamas," the defector says, "guns, ammunition both heavy and light, detonators, and explosives. It was Iraq which trained Hamas in how to make bombs."
The defector says he was ordered to embark on a very different kind of mission in October 1994. Before the Gulf War, Iraq had come close to building an atomic bomb: under a fast-track scheme Saddam had sponsored, it would have rushed out a crude device using fuel from its nuclear reactors. In his book Saddams Bombmaker, published in 2000, Khidhir Hamza, Iraqs former nuclear-program chief, states that while this bomb would have been too heavy for a missile warhead, it could have been used "for a demonstration test, or, as we discovered to our horror, Saddams plan to drop one unannounced on Israel." But Iraqs Gulf War defeat and the consequent imposition of the UNSCOM inspectors caused a series of reverses. The U.S. destroyed Iraqs last uranium reactor in 1991.
The defectors 1994 mission was apparently undertaken to help remedy this deficit. He shows me his passport: the stamps confirm he left Iraq for Amman, the capital of neighboring Jordan, on October 17, 1994. In all, he says, there were three in his party: himself, a Mukhabarat colleague, and a scientist.
In Amman, the embassy liaison officer, a Mukhabarat operative, gave the three men new passports. They traveled to Khartoum, the capital of Sudan, and changed passports again: now they were supposedly businessmen from the United Arab Emirates. Next stop, by the Italian airline Alitalia, was Rome. From there they flew to Algiers, and thence, finally, to Dar es Salaam, Tanzania.
Joined there by more Iraqis, they drove into the bush to an isolated house, where they were met by five Eastern Europeans: Russians, the defector believes, or possibly Ukrainians. "They had a trunk made of heavy metal, about a meter long, so heavy they could barely lift it. They had a sports bag and took out gloves, face masks which were like gas masks, and a small electronic gadget. They opened the trunk, and the scientist bent over it. Inside were what looked like pieces of black rock, glittery." Some were the size and shape of fingers; others looked like lumps of coal. The scientist examined them with a handheld device. The defector says that unlike a Geiger counter, this made a bleeping sound when placed near the material. Satisfied, the scientist ordered that the trunk be resealed. He treated his hands, his face, and the trunk with decontaminants, the defector recalls. One of his colleagues opened his briefcase. Inside were neat stacks of $100 bills. He handed the case to the Eastern Europeans.
"The Ukrainians left first," the defector says. "Then four Iraqis Id never seen before entered and left with the trunk. We went to the airport and back to Amman via Tunis, Brussels, Rome, and Khartoum. We changed passports again at the embassy. Later I was told the merchandise had reached Baghdad safely."
The defector admits he is no technician, and some nuclear experts are skeptical of certain details in his account. But according to the same experts, the "fingers" of black material sounds like a description of spent reactor fuel rods cut into sections, which could be used to build a "dirty," radiological bomba conventional explosive surrounded by a layer of radioactive material, designed to spew across a wide area. Charles Duelfer, the former UNSCOM deputy chairman, adds, "The defectors description is consistent with what we know about Iraqs attempt to continue its nuclear program. Iraq has demonstrated it is interested in building dirty weapons of this kind." Iraq unsuccessfully tested at least one such bomb in 1987-88, in the closing stages of the Iran-Iraq War.
Far easier to build than a full-fledged nuclear device, a dirty bomb would kill its victims slowly: those who survived the initial blast would be at risk of developing cancers after inhaling or swallowing the radioactive wrapping, which the explosion would reduce to fine particles of dust. A dirty bomb could also be delivered to its target in many ways. A small device might be detonated inside a suitcase or lodged beneath a car; larger bombs could be fired from a missile or dropped from an airplane.
As the Monterey Institute of International Studies noted last year, a dirty bomb planted by a terrorist in a city such as New York would cause a "nuclear panic" out of all proportion to the number of its victims, although it would kill far fewer than the 100,000 who might be expected to die immediately in the event of a small atom-bomb blast over Lower Manhattan.
The man seated before me says that, in September 1996, he was promoted and moved to a new posting, attached to a special commercial department of the Military Industrial Commission. Iraq's weapons-development-and-procurement programs were in a state of upheaval. Their former overseer, Hussein Kamel, Saddams son-in-law and formerly one of his confidants, had fled to the West, where he gave intelligence agencies many damaging details of Iraqs secret programs. Then, apparently feeling homesick, Kamel had unwisely chosen to believe Saddams promises that all would be forgiven if he would only return. He was murdered together with his father, two brothers, his sister, and her two young children after a long gun battle at a brothers home in Baghdad. Kamels wife, Saddams daughter, survived. His mother was killed two years later. Henceforth, weapons acquisition came under the direct control of Saddam and his son Uday.
That summer, this new defector says, the Mukhabarat began to form and operate a network of commercial companies. It had three purposes. The first was to raise currency to buy military hardware abroad through what amounted to a huge money-laundering scam that would take advantage of the U.N.s "food for oil" program. Under the program, Iraq is allowed to import a limited range of nonlethal items paid for in kind with oil. The Mukhabarats firms, which had branches in Iraq, Jordan, and the United Arab Emirates, sold these itemstrucks, cars, food, building materials, and electronics, as well as more obscure goods such as spare parts for flour mills. No matter if the people of Iraq were further impoverished as a result: just one of the thousands of individual deals concluded in this way might raise as much as $20 million for arms procurement, the defector says. He gave me a list of 10 firms, together with the names of some of their directors and office addresses. He believes they are all still in business. The network is controlled by Saddams son Uday, who takes a personal commission on every deal. "To import or export anything in Iraq, you need a license from [Udays office at the Iraqi] Olympic Committee," the defector says.
The companies second purpose, he says, was smuggling. "Why do you think televisions and refrigerators imported from Jordan go to Iraq via Dubai?" he asks. The reason, he says, is that in a Mukhabarat front-company warehouse in the United Arab Emirates Iraqi agents open their casings and stuff them with items banned under U.N. sanctions, such as fiber-optic cables and electronic components destined for military use. Finally, the front firms were used to buy military equipment and raw materials.
The defector says his job within this network was control and liaison: to watch what the companies were doing and, after collecting shopping lists from the Iraqi military and the Military Industrial Commission, to tell them what to do. "I might be in a meeting with the commission. Theyd say they needed missile covers, carbon fiber, supercomputers, missile ignition systems, electronic parts, thermal lenses for radar receivers, fuel for missiles." In flagrant breach of U.N. sanctions, this man and his colleagues would try to ensure that these needs were met.
His coverwhat Iraqi spies call their "legend"--was elaborate. The Mukhabarat had established a weekly business newspaper, al-Iqtisadi, purely as a way of providing camouflage for its agents activities. The paperwhich is on sale in several Arab countriesis produced by an editorial group in Baghdad. Like most of its supposed journalistic staff, the defector never wrote a word. The paper gave him freedom to travel, a pretext for applying for foreign visas, and a plausible reason for making visits to Iraqi businesses abroad.
His letter of credentials, signed by the papers supposed editor, Muhammad Jafar Dawood, states: "Al-Iqtisadi weekly newspaper authorizes [name withheld] to contact Jordanian ministries, companies and establishments to conduct interviews and write reports and collect subscriptions and commercial advertisements. He is also authorized to receive cash and cheques in his name which he endorses and cashes according to official receipts issued by al-Iqtisadi newspaper. We appreciate your assistance to facilitate his mission."
Charles Duelfer, the former UNSCOM deputy chief, says the defectors information about front companies is new, credible, and important. Equally significant, in his view, is the defectors testimony about biological weapons. Despite his relatively junior rankthe equivalent of a majorhe apparently had access to the most secret parts of Saddams schemes for mass annihilation. In the summer of 1996 he found himself at a meeting with Dr. Rehab Taha, also known as "Dr. Germ," a female scientist in charge of Iraqs biological weapons. At this time, UNSCOM had not yet been expelled, and he came up with a plan to enable these weapons and development programs to evade detection, then and in the future. "They had the same problem as any stationary facility," the defector says. "I suggested we go for mobile units."
He says he and Dr. Taha wrote a report for Saddam, who rapidly approved it. He organized the purchase of eight heavy Renault trucks from Francea perfectly legal deal carried out through Iraqs Ministry of Commerce. At the secret al-Iskandariyya facility in the Hilla Province, engineers converted them into factories of mass destruction. "They look like meat cars, yogurt cars," he says. "And inside is a laboratory, with incubators for bacteria, microscopes, air-conditioning." It was a good idea, I say grimly. The man beams and says in English. "Thanks a lot!" Yet he got no reward for his ingenuity, he complains. "Had I been a Tikriti [a member of Saddam's tribe, from the area north of Baghdad], I would have been given a new Toyota."
Much worse than mere ingratitude was to come. One day in 1997, he says, he was with a friend, buying a present for his wife, when the store owner, a devout Shia Muslim, asked him to use his official connections to secure permission for printing a religious newspaper and theological texts. A religious man himself, he saw no political danger in helping out, and he obtained permission from the Ministry of Information. But in the paranoid climate of Iraq, the Mudiryat al-Amn al-Ama, archrival to the Mukhabarat, believed that the Shia printing scheme was really a conspiracy to topple Saddam. The defector was one of 29 supposed plotters arrested in September 1998. He says he was tortured and interrogated for the next six months.
He shows me some of the scars. On his left eyelid is a bump where he says the Mudiryat al-Amn al-Amas Russian-trained chief torturer, known as "the Shuffler," attached a crocodile-clip electrode. Another was clipped to his genitals. His feet and ankles bear scalpel scars: he says that after puncturing his veins his tormentors used bands to compress his thighs to squeeze the blood from his legs. He says he also endured sexual abuse. For a time, he was held in a cell once occupied by the British journalist Farzad Bazoft, who was executed on trumped-up spying charges in 1990.
On the wall, Bazoft had scrawled his name and a warning: DONT SPEAK. THERES A MICROPHONE HIDDEN IN THE WALL.
On several occasions, the defector says, he was tied by his arms in a standing position to the bars of his cell. "You could stay like that for 10, 15 days, for everything, eating, drinking, and ... you know." There were psychological techniques: he was shown a video of children aged from 5 to 10 being tortured, with the threat that the same fate might await his own family if he failed to confess.
But he says he didnt confess, and by the middle of March 1999 his interrogators were satisfied he was telling the truth. He spent another three months in much more comfortable conditions, in order to allow him to recover from his injuries, and in July he was released. The Mukhabarat gave him a months leave. And then, entrusted with the most sensitive tasks of his entire career, he went back to work. Khidhir Hamza, the nuclear scientist, says such treatment is common in Saddams Iraq: some of his colleagues in the nuclear program also got their jobs back after being tortured. "As long as they find nothing, its normal," he says. "Maybe they give you some kind of gift to make it up to you."
The regime assumes that brutalizing its servants in this way will keep them loyal through a mixture of greed and fear. "They believe that if youre jailed and you come out clean they can use this as a warning," the defector says. In his case, the worm turned. Freed from jail, he resolved to gather as much information as he could and, when the opportunity arose, to flee.
Before his incarceration, most of his work was concerned with the Mukhabarat front companies efforts to raise hard currency. Now his focus shifted, and he says he found himself indoctrinated into Iraqs deepest secrets: its attempts to renew its arsenal of weapons of mass destruction, and build a new long-range-missile system with which to deliver them. Before the Gulf War and the arrival of UNSCOM, he says, the facilities which had worked to achieve these ends were concentrated in industrial areas near Baghdad. Now they are widely dispersed. Missile development and testing takes place at the Saad 23 compound at al-Falluja, the defector says, while at Hatteen, near al-Musayyib on the road south from Baghdad, Saddams experts work to develop missile fuel. He lists the other facilities of which he has personal knowledge: electronic guidance systems at al-Harith, in the Kadhimiyya district of Baghdad; missile bodies at Abu Ghraib, south of al-Harith; a chemical-weapons factory at Samarra: a biological laboratory at Waziriyya, a suburb of Baghdad; heat-resistant foils and coatings at Ur, the birthplace of the prophet Abraham, in southern Iraq; chemical warheads at alMusayyib; warhead propellants and covers at the Taiq factory near Taji. Charles Duelfer says the defectors list is "highly credible" and tallies with other information he has in his database, which goes back to the time of UNSCOMs mission.
Like many who have escaped Iraq in the last decade, the new defector has been brought to the notice of Western intelligence agencies by the Iraqi National Congress, the opposition group funded by the U.S. State Department, which has its headquarters in London. At the end of 2001, it also arranged the defection of Adnan Ihsan Saeed al-Haideri, a building contractor whose firm worked on several Iraqi weapons-of-mass-destruction sites, who has now been given refuge in the West. Nabeel Musawi, an Iraqi National Congress agent, says much of the information provided by the two defectors is mutually corroborating. "Neither man knows what the other has told us," he said, "but theyre saying the same thing about weapons types and where theyre being made."
According to the defector I interviewed, Iraqs renewed attempts to acquire nuclear weapons are concentrated on a project code-named al-Bashir at Fahama, a populous residential area of Baghdad. There, he claims, scientistssome of them foreigners, from countries including Ukrainehave examined the possibility of re-creating the small, 20-megawatt "Isis" reactor the U.S. destroyed in 1991. The former Iraqi nuclear scientist Khidhir Hamza says that such a reactor, based on the model which enabled India to build its atomic weapons, would produce enough plutonium to build a bomb in approximately two years. However, he believes it unlikely that Iraq would rebuild Isis, saying a more probable route is through using techniques for enriching uranium in which Iraq is already skilled. If it were to acquire the necessary machinery, he says, Iraq already has the knowledge and equipment to use the resultant weapons-grade uranium 235 to produce an atomic bomb.
The defector says that, had he not decided to flee Iraq, his next mission would have been an attempt to procure items for the al-Bashir nuclear project. However, most of his final year as a Mukhabarat officer was spent working on the next generation of Iraqi ballistic missiles. His particular task was a top-secret program, codenamed Tammooz.
The terms of U.N. cease-fire resolution 687, which ended the Gulf War, allow Iraq to possess missiles with a maximum range of 93 milesnot far enough to hit any significant target outside its borders, with the exception of al-Kuwait, the capital of Kuwait. It is already known that up to 40 longer-range "Hussein" missiles, an adapted form of the Scud B system used against Israel during the Gulf War, survived the inspections of the 1990s. The defector says they are hidden around the country on mobile launchers in hangars and on farms with trees to conceal them from aerial surveillance. In the event of war, they would be rolled out along the four specially reinforced roads. These he traces on the map: the highway south from Baghdad to al-Hilla, and the roads from al-Hilla to al-Nasiriyya, from Baghdad east to al-Falluja and al-Ramadi, and, in the south, from alKut through al-'Amara to Basra. The missiles can be fired "from anywhere on these lines," he says. "The roads are reinforced with rocks under the asphalt, and renewed three times in a 21-month cycle."
However, deadly as a Hussein missile equipped with a biological or nerve-gas warhead might be, its range is limited to about 400 miles. And this can be achieved only at a stretch: the unmodified Scud will fly no farther than half this distance. With such a weapon, Iraq can hit Israel, as it proved in 1991, but other targets remain beyond its reach. The new Tammooz system, the defector says, has been designed with an initial range of 600 to 700 miles, far enough to hit Riyadh, Saudi Arabia; Ankara in Turkey; Cairo and Alexandria in Egypt; Nicosia in Cyprus; and Teheran, capital of Iraqs historic enemy, Iran. Later models may extend this by up to another 500 milesfar enough to reach targets across a swath of southern Europe.
By the summer of 2000, the defector says, the Tammooz project was about halfway complete. The first and second stages of the rocket had been built and tested, using steel and carbon fiber imported illegally through the Mukhabarats front-company web. If Iraq had managed to acquire the supplies it needed, he says, it might have been ready to test a finished missile by the middle of 2001. Traveling via Amman, using his journalistic cover, the defector arrived in Dubai on a mission designed to achieve that end on August 18, 2000. His assignment there was to make all the necessary arrangements for a visit he was scheduled to pay later that month with four Iraqi scientists to Beijing, China, in order to try to buy the outstanding Tammooz components.
In Dubai, he met his Mukhabarat contact, who took him to the Hotel InterContinental Dubai. An hour after checking in, he departed. And then he disappeared.
The defector gazes out the window, then holds his head in his hands. Sometimes his fear is palpable. Did I think he had done the right thing by defecting? he asks. "I'm walking a way I dont know where," he says. "Maybe my road is dangerous." He sighs. "Maybe somebody will save me." At the time of this writing, the opposition Iraqi National Congress is working to rescue members of his family who remain inside Iraq. "I trust my friends in the I.N.C.," he says, "but Im so alone here."
It was the Iraqi National Congress that organized my interview with this defector--just as it had introduced me in Beirut to the former terrorist trainer Abu Zeinab al-Qurairy, whose story was published in this magazines February 2002 issue. As I have come to know its operatives across the Middle East, it seems to me they resemble nothing so much as the Underground Railroad, the clandestine network which rescued slaves from the American South before the Civil War. In Washington, State Department officials have criticized the Iraqi National Congress, suggesting it amounts to little more than a bunch of pampered exiles with no real presence or support in Iraq and the surrounding region. My own dealings with it make me question that view. My impression is of a highly organized and motivated group that is able to cross borders to retrieve documents and human beings without detectionand with a network of safe houses, agents, and sympathizers inside Iraq who are prepared to run considerable risks.
As the defector and I spoke, over two long days in March 2002, the debate in the West on what, if anything, to do about Iraq and Saddam Hussein was feverish. Once President Bush had described Iraq as part of an "axis of evil" in his State of the Union address, some kind of intervention seemed inevitable. At the same time, there were powerful voices urging restraint: in the liberal media; in the capitals of Europe; in the State Department and C.I.A.
The defectors information only intensifies the dilemma posed by the persistence of Saddam Hussein. This account of the ease with which Iraq appears to have evaded U.N. sanctions to date does not make one confident that the so-called smart sanctions now being proposed as a means of curbing Saddams military ambition are any more likely to be effective. At the same time, Saddams alleged willingness to use a nuclear weapon against Israel before the invasion of Kuwait suggests that the global strategic threat that his possession of weapons of mass destruction represents is not theoretical, but real.
But how far have the Tammooz missile and other programs progressed? How effective are his chemical and biological weapons? How ready are his regimes servants to activate a strategy that might see the Middle East afflicted with biblical destruction in the event of a U.S. attack? On an accurate Western assessment of such questions much may depend.
In a guarded hangar at Saddam International Airport, according to the defector, Hussein keeps a private jet and helicopter in constant readiness: their purpose is to facilitate his flight from Baghdad when the day of reckoning comes. It remains to be seen, assuming he can find someplace willing to let him land, whether he will choose to use that option or to burn in the fire which may now be very near.
Iraq's threat to the world is zero" - Scott RitterHmmmmmmm....but Scott was last in Iraq in 1998-99? Scott had 'full' access to all specified facilities to be inspected?
My guess is that Scott Ritter had full access to enough "goodies" to sell his soul. I have never seen anyone in my long life who was "turned" as he was.